Saturday, August 7, 2010

Transportation - Getting From Here to There

In order to get up close in the mangroves, boats were our only option. Cars! There are a multitude of cars here. The middle lane of many roads seems to be for either direction of traffic. Somehow the drivers know when to weave "to" when another is weaving "fro". Thankfully, leaving the air-conditioned tour bus behind and getting closer to the street, a caleche provided the perfect mode of transportation for a tour of St. Louis. In order to get a closer look and to hear important historical information about the town, we step out of the caleche.
Taking a walk before lunch at a family home in Pikine, we passed these boys sprucing up the taxi. There were several taxis getting a bath here. The boys really wanted me to take a picture of them. Some things are easily communicated, even when you don't share a common language.
Once again, the trusty horse-drawn cart provides all-around transportation for both human and non-human cargo. This photo was taken during one of our day trips to a nearby town. Motor scooters are also a go to type of transportation for many locals. We even saw motor scooters used as taxis in Toubacouta. Many of those were highly decked out with colorful paint and fur seats.Fishermen use pirouges to navigate the waters while they cast for the catch of the day.
The Car Rapide is a common form of public transportation. People who can't fit inside, sometimes hold on to the back. Boys who collect the fares can also be found hanging on from one stop to the next.
Our tour bus stopped at the border of Senegal and Gambia where we were given permission to do some shopping. What I didn't know at the time, was that some items would need to be taken to a customs building and taxes would be assessed before we could take them back into Senegal. This bus created immediate interest wherever it parked. One never need exit the bus in order buy anything! Cashews, bananas, clothing, sim cards, water bags, towels, hats, fans... were all available through the window most places. :)
My typical view from the cab. I tended to let my colleagues who speak French sit in the front in order to converse with the driver. I never would have imagined that my first cab ride EVER would be in Africa. Really? The cab driver pulled over and left us in the car. ?? We figured he had an errand to do. Do cab drivers do that? Cab mates Suzanne and Sue wait with me (It was so hot I had to step out) as we endeavored to get to the Village des Artistes near the stadium.
Okay. This is NOT a typical form of transportation in Senegal. This camel jockey looks ready to serve the tourist industry. We encountered him on our way from the Pink Lake to Saly.
The cab of this truck sports a floral design. LOTS of trucks and buses are colorfully decorated.
This bus passed ours on a road particularly busy with traffic one evening. It's amazing the kind of things you see in the luggage rack of public buses.
This taxi driver ended up smiling and giving me a high five after a bit of a "discussion" about whether I should have taken this photo or not. After convincing him that I am a teacher and would like to show my students the types of transportation found in West Africa, and that I was not intending to exploit him by selling the photo, he became the friendly Senegalese citizen I was used to meeting.

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